Delta-8-THC, usually shortened to delta-8, is an intoxicating analogue of delta-9 best used for pain, inflammation, sleep, and appetite stimulation. CBD is a popular non-intoxicating cannabinoid best used for pain, depression, PTSD, appetite suppression, and basic health and wellness.
CBD is better for mild anxiety symptoms, while delta-8 is better for moderate anxiety. They’re also useful for anxiety when combined. CBD has no known side effects or addictive properties, whereas Delta-8 research is TBD on its longer-term effects for regular usage.
What are the main differences?
Delta-8 and CBD are both naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis (hemp and marijuana). Delta-8 is intoxicating and will create a euphoric high. CBD is non-intoxicating and won’t create a high. CBD’s healing benefits are mild and subtle, while delta-8’s are more powerful and more noticeable. Both are helpful for pain, inflammation, anxiety, and sleep but also have unique benefits of their own.
- Marijuana has as much as 1% delta-8 THC and up to 20% CBD.
- Delta-8 is an analogue of delta-9 THC, meaning it has a similar molecular structure and affinity with your cannabinoid receptors (causes a euphoric high). CBD’s molecular structure is similar to CBG and won’t bind to your cannabinoid receptors (no euphoric high).
- Delta-8 and CBD have anti-anxiety, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and sleep-supporting properties (individually or combined).
- CBD is federally legal in all 50 US states and protected under the 2018 Farm Bill.
- Delta-8’s federal legality is in a grey area and is illegal in several states, under State review.
What is Delta-8 THC good for?
Similar to delta-9 THC, delta-8 is good for several health and also wellness benefits. While clinical research on delta-8 is lacking, some preclinical studies and lots of anecdotal accounts suggest delta-8’s effects are good for the following:
- Anxiety and stress reduction (with CBD and CBG)
- Pain relief and anti-inflammation (with CBD)
- Nausea and vomiting (by itself or with THC)
- Appetite stimulation (with or without THC)
What is CBD good for?
CBD provides a large variety of health and wellness benefits. There are thousands of research papers spanning decades suggesting CBD’s effects and interaction with your body might help you with the following:
- Anxiety, stress reduction, and relief from PTSD symptoms (with CBG and THC)
- Pain relief and anti-inflammation (with delta-8, THC, and CBG)
- Acne, psoriasis, and skin inflammation
- Appetite suppression
- Substance abuse and addiction
Is Delta-8 more potent than CBD?
Yes, delta-8 THC is more powerful than CBD. Delta-8 binds to both cannabinoid receptors, producing a euphoric high similar to THC but with around half the potency. CBD, on the other hand, does not bind to either of the cannabinoid receptors, thus creating no euphoric high or intoxicating effects.
However, CBD can minimize the effects of a delta-8 high. CBD is referred to as a negative allosteric modulator of CB1 comparable to CBG. This means it attaches itself to the receptor but in a different location than delta-8. This modulatory activity causes the receptor to change shape, thus keeping delta-8 from completely binding to it, driving less potent effects.
Is Delta-8 better than CBD?
Delta-8 and CBD share really similar benefits yet their effects on your mind and body are completely different. Therefore, comparing the two and deciding which one’s better for your health and wellness needs is difficult.
If you’re seeking gentle and subtle therapeutic effects, CBD should be your go-to, especially if you incorporate it with other calming cannabinoids such as CBG and CBC.
However, delta-8 is a powerhouse addition to your everyday health and wellness regimen if you’re seeking something more substantial and more potent. Beginners should start with a decent d8 oil or expertly crafted, top-quality delta-8 gummies. Be cautious of purchasing “street products” and be sure all products are Third Party Tested before trying.
Helen Baumeister did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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